Chicago 1968 represents, perhaps as no other moment in American history, the flashpoint of cultural resistance to a militarized world out of control. In the summer of 1968, still reeling from the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy only months earlier, thousands of young people descended on the National Democratic Convention to show their opposition to the Vietnam War and their desire for a Peace platform. The showdown between “the longhairs” and “the pigs” would become one of the most violent and starkly emblematic confrontations ever broadcast on nightly news in the United States. “The whole world was watching,” CBS reporter Dan Rather uttered on the floor of the convention center in Chicago, and he was correct: The 1968 Democratic Convention was the first nationally televised political convention. Police and National Guard troops, clashing with protesters, herded tens of thousands of demonstrators into exit-less corridors, and as the mayhem ensued, police indiscriminately cracked heads.
Witnessing it all were some of the most attuned minds of the day, including Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg, Studs Terkel, and the “hard hitting investigative team” Esquire had assembled, which included Terry Southern, William Burroughs, and Jean Genet. Shortly after bumping into Southern at the bar of the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, photographer Michael Cooper decided to tag along, gaining official accreditation as photographer.
Editors Nile Southern and Adam Cooper, having dreamt for many years about a print collaboration featuring their fathers’ collective work—none more poignant than their accounts of the protests at the National Democratic Convention—here present Chicago 1968: The Whole World is Watching, a kaleidoscopic, on-the-ground account, told primarily through the words of Terry Southern and the photographs of Michael Cooper, a fitting tribute to two great artists of the 20th century.
Edited and with texts by Adam Cooper
and Nile Southern
Associate Editors J.C. Gabel and Meg Handler
Designed by Lisa Bechtold
Published by Hat & Beard Press, 136 pgs, 28.5 × 25 cm, Hardcover, 2018, 9781732056176